Partnering with Consumers – What it Really Means 1

This video came to my attention first via Mike Cadogan at Life in the Fast Lane and a couple of days later via Ian Miller at The Nurse Path. I was blown away by the commitment of this health service to truly connecting it’s staff to the business of health. In Queensland, Australia we are currently undergoing rapid and major change to our health system. In transition to Hospital and Health Services as independent statutory authorities, we are paralleling a restructure that England went through a decade ago. It fils me with optimism that a health service, Heathwood and Wexham Hospitals, can articulate the message of ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what people care about, yet we too often focus on the how, who and what. The other major force in our healthcare business at present is the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. This video truly shows how a health service aspires to live it’s mission of partnership with consumers (Standard 2 in the NSQHSS). This is the crux of what we need to do better in healthcare.

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together

Desmond Tutu

We can’t be a paternalistic dinosaur. We need to listen. We need to admit our frailties and work to strengthen against them. We need to recruit our patients and families to come on a journey and be a part of our team, the extra nurse on our unit, the extra rehab consultant, the extra pharmacist checking medications. We work in a system that largely expects our consumers to devolve responsibility over their body when they come throughout doors and we work in a system where many of us don’t know what it truly takes to run a hospital. Let’s get better. Let’s find out what that guy’s name is that drives the linen truck. Let’s ask the tea lady about her family and holidays. Let’s find out what flow cytometry is and how did you end up working at our hospital as a biomedical scientist anyway? Let’s remember and remind each other of why we do THIS job, God knows there are easier ways to make a dollar.

Just to finish off, this made me also think of a recent post from Teresa Chan talking about branding and medical education. In particular allison to the brilliant presentation by Simon Sinek exploring how innovative businesses are successful because every member of their organisation and their consumers understands the key message of ‘Why’.

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One thought on “Partnering with Consumers – What it Really Means

  • Teresa Chan

    Hi there,
    Thanks for this ping back. 😀
    I’m still thinking about what it means to centre myself around this concept.
    I don’t hold too strongly to be ALWAYS applying a consumerist model when dealing with students or patients… BUT, I think it can be very useful to apply different models (or conceptual frameworks) to the same problem to see each lens reveals more or different things.

    Thanks for riffing on this idea some more!

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